The 2011 Hall of Fame final 15 candidates were announced in. There are several candidates that will be first ballot NFL Hall of Fame inductees and they will push veterans off the podium. Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk are two NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates that took over games in their careers and made an impact on their teams success throughout their entire career.
Second year NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee Tim Brown has the numbers it is just a matter of time before he enters the Hall. With Chris Carter in the same class it may be tough once again for Tim Brown to break through in the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class.
Marshall Faulk: 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts-1999-2005 St. Louis Rams
Marshall Faulk followed Eric Dickerson with the Indianapolis Colts and he erased the memory of one of the greatest NFL running backs. Faulk was explosive off the ball and had a second gear that allowed him to run wild in the secondary. Faulk was also another running back that had great hands out of the back field and was the bread and butter for both the Indianapolis Colts and St Louis Rams as a receiver.
Marshall Faulk never won a Super Bowl in Indianapolis but he won his first Super Bowl in his first year with the St Louis Rams. Faulk’s Hall of Fame worthy numbers are indisputable. 100 touchdowns, 12,279 yards rushing and 6,875 yards receiving. Anyone that does not vote Marshall Faulk in on the first ballot for the Hall of Fame should have their vote revoked. Marshall Faulk is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
Deion Sanders Cornerback-Wide Receiver-Kick Returner: 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens
“Neon” Deion Sanders was another game changer NFL Hall of Fame Candidate. His kick and punt returns were legendary throughout his career and his ability to blanket his opponents as shut down cover corner changed how the position was viewed. Now cover corners are receiving more acknowledgment because of the work and notoriety of Sanders. Deion Sanders is a first ballot NFL Hall of Fame inductee.
Jerome Bettis Running Back: 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
“The Bus” Jerome Bettis makes his first appearance as an NFL Hall of Fame candidate and the numbers are there for a first ballot Hall of Fame induction, Bettis ended his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was used in limited situations late in his career but he did earn his Super Bowl ring in his last season.
13,362 yards is the big number for Bettis along with his 91 touchdowns. Bettis was a thousand yard rusher for the Rams and Steelers in eight of his first nine seasons but he was a one dimensional back throughout his career. Bettis was more of a fullback than a running back and his longest career run was 34 yards in his second season. Jerome Bettis will make it into the Hall of Fame but not with Marshall Faulk in this class.
Curtis Martin Running Back: 1995-97 New England Patriots-1998-2005-New York Jets
Curtis Martin was a devastating running back for the New England Patriots and the New York Jets in his career but he never won a Super Bowl. Martin was business like in his systematic pounding of opposing run defenses and forced NFL teams to adjust their game plans.
Martin put up great numbers: 14,101 yards, 90 touchdowns and averaged four yards per carry. Martin has the same issue as Bettis, timing. Marshall Faulk will be the only running back inducted into this NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Willie Roaf Tackle: 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints-2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Willie Roaf was a force on the New Orleans Saints and later the Kansas City Chiefs that was an immovable object on the offensive line. Roaf was an 11 time Pro Bowl Tackle in his 13 year career. It is always tough to figure how the Hall of Fame committee will vote on offensive lineman since it is always a subjective decision. Willie Roaf will not make the 2011 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Chris Doleman Defensive End: 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings-1994-95 Atlanta Falcons-1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman was a defensive that was feared in the NFL. He had a nose for the quarterback and made his way into the back field with reckless abandon. Doleman recorded 150 sacks in his career and in 1989 recorded an incredible 21 sacks. Doleman was not in the final 15 Hall of Fame nominees last season but his Minnesota Vikings teammate Jon Randle made it in last season. Chris Doleman will not make the NFL Pro Football Hall Fame in 2011.
Ed Sabol: NFL Films 1964-1995
Ed Sabol and his son Steve are legendary in the emergence of the NFL as the premiere sports league in the world. Sabol created dramatic well produced documentaries and was in charge of the early NFL highlight reels that riveted the nation before the NFL’s Red Zone came into being. Ed Sabol will be a well deserved NFL Hall of Fame inductee and is long overdue.
Chris Hanburger Linebacker: 1965-78 Washington Redskins (Veterans Committee Nominee)
Chris Hanburger is another NFL Hall of Fame veterans committee nominee. The old school linebacker recorded 19 interceptions in his career and was tabbed for nine pro bowls in his 14 years exclusively with the Washington Redskins. Always tough to know which way the veterans committee will vote but Hanburger will most likely not make it in the Hall of Fame this year.
Les Richter Linebacker: 1954-62 Los Angeles Rams
Les Richter may have gained more notoriety later in his life as the man who brought NASCAR back to California but in his early life he was a hard nosed linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams. Richter was a first round NFL Draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams and second overall.
Richter did not disappoint the Rams as a two way player that also played as a guard on offense and was a kicker. Richter was a multi talented asset to the Rams and was a force in his era. Les Richter will be the one veteran committee selection as a posthumous Hall of Fame inductee.
Tim Brown Wide Receiver-Kick Returner : 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders-2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is Tim Brown’s second chance to be elected to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame and should be elected this year. The only problem is with Chris Carter. Support for Chris Carter to make it in this ballot after being forced to wait will be big and Brown may suffer. Brown was not only one of the five best wide receivers in the NFL in his day, he also one of the most electric kick returners in the history of the NFL.
Tim Brown is most known for his years playing in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders but he also won a Heisman Trophy in 1987 playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Brown’s NFL final statistics: 100 touchdowns, 1070 receptions and 14,734 yards. If Brown fails to make it in his second year of eligibility he is destined to make it into Canton soon. Tim Brown will either make it as the last elected NFL Hall of Fame inductee or he will be the front runner in 2012.
Cris Carter Wide Receiver : 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles-1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings-2002 Miami Dolphins
All Chris Carter does is catch touchdowns. Cris Carter was most famous during his Minnesota Vikings years but he was a big time player in the Philadelphia Eagles offense also. Not only was Carter a force on that team but Carter was instrumental in developing his replacement, Randy Moss. Carter has always been a mentor to wide receivers throughout the NFL, something he continues to do.
Carter’s stats are more than NFL Hall of Fame worthy, his 130 touchdowns and 1101 receptions to go with his 13,899 yards will stand the test of time. Carter was another receiver that knew that he had to work extra hard to make up for his lack of speed. Carter was the model for a possession receiver in the 90’s. Carter will make it into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame on this ballot and Carter’s speech will be the most emotional at the induction ceremony.
Dermontti Dawson Center: 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Centers don’t normally get in on the first few attempts but Dawson may see a ground swell of support this year. Dawson was not in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl years but he was known as a force over the ball at the center of the Pittsburgh Steelers line. Dawson has been nominated since 2006 and has made the final 15 in the new format the last two seasons. Dawson is going to have to wait at least one more year to wear the gold Hall of Fame jacket.
Richard Dent Defensive End: 1983-93-1995 Chicago Bears-1994 San Francisco 49ers-1996 Indianapolis Colts-1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Richard Dent has been gone since 1997 but those that remember him know he was a monster coming across the line. Dent had double-digit sacks in eight seasons and 17.5 in 1984. Dent was a game changing NFL defensive end that forced teams to double him and freed up his teammates. Dent ended his career with 137.5 sacks in his 14 years of play as a dominant force. Dent will be in the 2011 Class of NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Charles Haley Defensive End-Outside Linebacker : 1986-91, 1999 San Francisco 49ers-1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Charles Haley was a dominant force on the San Francisco 49ers defensive line in the late 80’s and ended his career with 100.5 sacks in his career. Haley’s most memorable year was 1990 when he tallied 16 sacks. Haley was an intimidating force for the 49ers and also with the Dallas Cowboys later. Dent will get in for 2011 and this will make it tough for Haley. Charles Haley will not make the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Cortez Kennedy Defensive Tackle : 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Cortez Kennedy was a solid defensive tackle for his ten years in the NFL playing for the Seattle Seahawks. The amazing aspect of Kennedy’s career was the fact that he was on some teams that were not very good. Kennedy worked through double teams and still tallied incredible statistics. His career ended with 58 sacks, but he was feared around the NFL while he was in his prime. Kennedy will not be elected to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011and will have to go through the veteran’s committee.
Andre Reed Wide Receiver: 1985-99 Buffalo Bills-2000 Washington Redskins
Andre Reed was one of the most difficult wide receivers to cover in his playing days. Reed has been getting denied for a few years now and 2011 is another strong wide receiver class fro the Hall of Fame. The number that will hinder Reed for the next couple of years will be 951.
Reed never achieved the magic 1000 receptions that the receivers going in ahead of him have. Also the 87 touchdowns is behind all receivers in this class. Reed will not be elected to the 2011 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Shannon Sharpe Tight End: 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos-2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Shannon Sharpe was a ground breaker for the tight end position. In the image of Kellen Winslow before him, Sharpe was a great blocking tight end that had great hands also. Three seasons of over 1000 yards receiving and over 10,000 yards receiving in his career. There is no reason Sharpe should not be in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, he will make the 2011 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Class.
Summary of who is in:
Marshall Faulk: First ballot
Deion Sanders: First ballot
Tim Brown* (Last in or front runner for 2012)
Ed Sabol* (Last in or front runner for 2012)
Les Richter (Veterans Committee)
With the induction of Ed Sabol the committee will elect five players and two veteran selections. Feel free to list Hall of Fame selections below in the comments section.
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